KBA and Xerox Target Folding-Carton Printing Market with a 40-Inch Digital Sheet-Fed Press

kba varijet

KBA‑Sheetfed Solutions, a unit of the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA), and Xerox today announced a partnership to develop an industrial, digital sheet-fed press, the The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox, for the folding-carton printing market. According to Xerox, wide-format cartons, for items such as cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical products, until now have relied on traditional analog offset production printing.

The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox integrates Xerox Impika inkjet technology into the KBA Rapida 106 press platform (Xerox acquired Impika in February 2013). The press, which is now in the final stages of development, will print 4,500 B1 750 x 1060 millimeters (29.5 x 41.7 inches) sheets per hour. Its modular concept is said to enable the combination of digital inkjet printing with optional in-line capabilities such as coating, cold-foil application, rotary die-cutting, creasing, and perforating.

Digitally printed packaging worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 16 percent between 2015 and 2020, and within that, digitally printed folding cartons will see a CAGR of 40 percent (according to the Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2020, Smithers PIRA, 2015.) The KBA VariJET 106 Press is said to bring the benefits of digital printing, such as running multiple versions of the same carton, as well as customize cartons, opening up new business opportunities for industrial production printers.

The KBA Group is a supplier to the international printing industry. Founded in 1817, its parent, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), is the world’s oldest press manufacturer. The KBA companies produce web presses for inkjet and offset printing, sheet-fed offset presses in all format classes, and special presses for printing film, metal sheets, hollow glass, and plastic containers, as well as systems for banknote production, industrial coding, and automated paper logistics. The KBA Group generates some 70 percent of its revenue in the growing package-printing segment. As the largest company within the KBA Group, KBA-Sheetfed Solutions in Radebeul, located near Dresden, Germany, is responsible for the sheet-fed press business field.

“As a leader in package printing our customers are confirming that this is exactly the product they need for the market opportunity that exists,” commented Ralf Sammeck, CEO of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions. “Xerox’s inkjet technology coupled with our packaging expertise combines proven technologies to bring the right product to market at the right time.”

“By combining digital capabilities like cross media marketing, digital storefronts, and automated workflows with those of classic offset printing, our customers will be able to offer new products not seen in the traditional packaging market to their customers,” said Robert Stabler, general manager of Xerox’s Graphic Communications Business Group. “The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox will have the flexibility, format and speed to help print providers capture this growing market opportunity.”

KBA and Xerox will share additional details on the new press concept during presentations at their respective stands at drupa, the world’s largest print exhibition and trade show held every three years in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 31 – June 10, 2016.

The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox will be available to customers beginning in 2017.

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